It hasn't quite been a week since I started this adventure, but Tuesdays (or around there) will be the days you'll be seeing on-the-front-page updates for Turpen the Gnome Warlock from here on out. For everything in between that, keep an eye on my WoW.com profile. Whether you do that by bookmarking my profile or adding it to your feed, that's completely up to you! So with that said, what's gone down since this project began?
What's Old is New Again
Since the character I was told to roll was a Gnome, I naturally started leveling in Dun Morogh. Despite how many Alliance characters I have, this is probably the starting zone I've done the least. I never really liked it, and to be completely honest... I don't normally do the Gnome/Dwarf thing. I don't really like them much. I love the aesthetics of Draenei and Humans, and I think the Human lore in WoW is awesome. I generally stick to those. Dun Morogh was a relatively fresh experience.
In fact, I'm pretty surprised how many little things cropped up that I never noticed before. The last time I did this zone was eons before they implemented quest markers on the minimap. How long ago was that? Patch 2.3? According to Wowwiki, that patch launched November 13th, 2007 in the US. Last time I leveled in Dun Morogh was long before that. The quest markers dug up all sorts of things I'd never noticed before. The quest Tundra Macgrann's Stolen Stash, for example. Never seen it. I've always wondered why Old Icebeard was there. Now I know!
The Green Woolen Vest is another thing I'd never noticed before, which I suspect is far more recent. I found it on the auction house and simply stared at it for a little while. What's so special about it? It's a crafted white item with stamina and critical strike rating. It doesn't bind on equip, bind on pickup, bind on account, or bind on anything at all. As far as I know, it's the only item of its kind. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a bug.
Of course, it wasn't all brand new to me. I have done it before, just not in a very long time. While some of the details were fresh and exciting, I did remember the basic progression through the zone, and I remembered which quests gave me problems before and the best ways to complete some of them. It was a fairly straightforward trip through Dun Morogh sprinkled with bits of zesty freshness.
I don't know if I've ever mentioned it on WoW Insider/WoW.com before, but I've always wanted a level 80 Warlock. The problem was that I never had much reason to go through the whole leveling process. I typically like to have a really good reason for leveling something before I get started, such as needing more understanding of how it works or wanting an alt to fill a gap somewhere. Are my buddies leveling alts that are missing a Tank? I'll do that. Do they need a Healer? I'll do that. It's incredibly unlikely for my friends to say, "Hey Alex, you should level a Lock. We need one for our 5-man." While I can't say I'm in love with being a Gnome, I'm glad that I now have a real reason to level a Warlock.
One of the big questions I've been asked about this whole 'leveling in public' thing is how much I'm going to put into the character from my main(s). Heirlooms? Gold? Will I twink to the max? Hopefully you can take my word on this: I will use Heirloom shoulders to keep this thing moving at a brisk pace, I did give my Gnome some basic bags, but that's all the twinking I'm going to do. All of the gold gains will be made by Turpen, the only unfair advantage will be the extra bag space which he probably could've gotten on his own pretty quickly.
So how is the character doing? Turpen is level 15 and has around 25 gold. I was lucky enough to be given Mining/Engineering by the professions poll, and I probably couldn't have been given a better leveling combination. Sure, Engineering might not be totally sexy in the end-game, but there really isn't a better profession to have while leveling up. I've been selling excess Copper Bars and skilling up off of Bronze Tubes. On my home server, those are much more expensive than they have any right being. At this rate, I will probably have my mount money well before level 30.
I've picked up my Imp (Lazpad) and my Voidwalker (Grak'nar), naturally. It feels like I've been using my Voidwalker a lot more than previous attempts at leveling a Warlock (highest of which reached level 25 before deletion) and I have a feeling the recent patches are the cause of it. The change to Fear seems to have killed the Warlock's ability to juggle DoTs and Fears to chew through multiple mobs at once. If I want to keep a mob under control, I pretty much can't DoT it. I'm stuck doing one or two mobs at once and I'm relying on my Voidwalker to keep their attention, which definitely isn't how things went previously. Maybe there's a better way to do things that I haven't noticed yet. Advice, perhaps?
Mana regen has been pretty terrible, too. Warlocks have always been notorious for having bad mana regen until higher levels, but this was ridiculous. Two mobs, then drink. It was substantially better when I picked up a wand, but holy cow. It didn't seem like I was regenerating any mana naturally whatsoever. Until I started selling off my copper bars, pretty much every silver I made either went to training spells or buying water. Pretty absurd.
I've spent just five of my talent points so far, I have one kicking around waiting for a decision. I based my purchases on feedback from a blog post on my profile. There were a few different opinions, but they seemed slanted towards Suppression and Improved Curse of Agony. You guys voted that I level Affliction, remember. I picked those two up, and I've just started up talent discussions on my profile's blog.
The beginning of the Affliction tree is extremely hard to poll since there's an absence of 5-point talents. It's all 2 points and 3 points and all of that, and I'm not going to poll every talent point. Just give me some feedback, and I'll choose from there. I'll do talent polls when I hit landmark talents, like level 40 and level 50 and such. Until then, give me guidance.
Here comes this week's poll: Where should I go? I'm in the middle of Loch Modan right now. Should I stay there, or go somewhere else? Poll will close at midnight tonight, when I'll get back to leveling the character!
And here's an open-ended question to all of you: What else do you want to decide about Turpen's life? Are you fine with things like zone and talents, or do you want to dig into the little things like haircuts? Let me know!